Me vs. the machine

November 22, 2010 at 2:08 pm 1 comment

I consider myself to be a fairly intelligent person.  I’m well-educated.  I love to read.  I think I have a considerable amount of common sense.

But when it comes to electronic devices, I am a bumbling idiot.

Oh, for the most part I do okay.  I know how to work the TV and switch back and forth between the inputs for the DVD player, media server, and HD local channels.  I can get around on a computer pretty well.  I’ve figured out the basic settings on the digital camera.

But anything beyond the basics is – well – beyond me.  Mostly because I don’t have an intuitive grasp for how machines work.  And also mostly because I don’t have the patience or the inclination to either sit and fiddle with the device or – horrors! – actually read the instruction manual.

My hatred of anything that plugs in has culminated in a standoff with the coffee maker.  I am a new coffee drinker; it’s an acquired taste, and I’ve only acquired it recently.  (Necessitated by the cut back from my diet of my old friend Diet Coke.  A tired mom has to have some source of caffeinated beverage, after all.)

Since I don’t drink coffee, I’ve never made it.  And I’ve always managed to weasel out of it if the opportunity has presented itself.

Brad usually makes the coffee in our house.  He only makes it on weekends, since there is a fresh pot waiting for him at work.  But since I’ve taken it up, once in a while I want to make it on a weekday.

Brad walked me through the steps of the coffeemaker.  Just three little steps.  Easy enough, right?  Except I thought it was so easy that I wasn’t really listening.  I just figured I had it.

So far my attempts have not gone well.

Attempt #1: I ground up the coffee and poured them in the little well in the top.  Then I turned the coffee maker on.

It took me about five minutes to remember that duh! it needs water to work.  So I filled up the carafe with water and put it back under the spout.

I think I thought the steam from the carafe would drift up and cycle back through the grounds.  Instead, it just sat and made crackling noises.  After fifteen minutes of waiting for it to brew, I unplugged the coffee maker, gave up for the day and settled on some green tea.

Attempt #2: A new day, a new can-do attitude.  I ground up the coffee again and put it in its place.  Then – using my newfound knowledge from my last attempt – I filled up the carafe with water.  Using my somewhat intelligent brain, I figured out from my first failed attempt that the water somehow had to come into contact with the grounds in order for the machine to work.

So I poured the water directly over the grounds.

The maker produced coffee – instant coffee.  As in, the instant the water went into the well with the grounds, it poured straight through the spout.  And all over the counter.  And down the cabinets and onto the floor.

I cleaned it up and went back to another cup of green tea.

I couldn’t figure it out.  What was I doing wrong???  I had the grounds, I had the water.  But where was the water supposed to go?

At this point, I could have consulted the manual.  But that would involve the effort of finding the manual.  And wading through all its mumbo-jumbo.

Instead, I sucked it up and asked Brad.  The only reason I hadn’t asked him before this is because my aversion to getting made fun of is even bigger than my aversion to machines.  And since Brad can immediately work just about every machine ever made, he doesn’t understand those of us lesser mortals who are electronically disinclined.

I had to wait through a full minute of incredulous mocking (“How do you NOT understand?  It’s THREE STEPS.”) before Brad patiently walked me through the process again.  And this time, I listened.  And discovered the water goes into the well BEHIND the grounds.

OHHHHHHHH.  So that’s what that space is for.

Maybe next week I can learn how to work the touch screen remote control that governs the electronics in the basement.

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Entry filed under: Life in general.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting  |  November 28, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    OMG, you and I are eerily alike. I muffed up my mother’s coffee maker in THE WORST way by putting water in, adding the grounds, but FORGETTING TO PUT THE CARAFE UNDERNEATH. Needless to say, a coffee explosion occurred all over her countertop. Gah!

    Reply

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